18-month beatdown: Google search crushing Microsoft, Yahoo
Despite bribing users to give Live Search a try and seeing Ballmer proclaim that Redmond is now all about advertisers, advertisers, advertisers, Microsoft has seen its search market share fall over the past 18 months according to three of the four major metrics companies tracking search traffic. No surprise: Yahoo is seeing a similar decline.
We've been tracking the trends from ComScore, Hitwise, Nielsen/NetRatings, and NetApplications since the beginning of 2007, and the numbers don't paint a pretty picture for anyone other than Google. In particular, both of Microsoft's major search properties—Live Search and MSN—have experienced mostly negative growth over the past year and a half, mostly at the expense of Google. While Yahoo has scuffled for share fractions with MSN and Live over a couple quarters in 2007, MSN has seen the worst (and steady) decline in market share from a peak of 9.15 percent in February 2007 to just 5.46 percent, according to Hitwise data. Considering a heavy cross-promotion with NBC's Olympic site—MSN powers the search and provides portions of live coverage on its home page—things could improve after August's numbers are out. But still, a loss of that much market share hurts.
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